5 Whiskey Cocktails You’ve Never Heard Of

Advance from the Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and mix these up

A perfectly made Mint Julep is a thing of beauty, even though getting one can often be a frustrating and futile exercise. It’s not an easy drink to prepare, for the record. The Manhattan — an august libation that needs no introduction — is a perennial classic that you can find at any airport lounge, dive bar, local pub, or cocktail temple. And who doesn’t love a Whiskey Sour with its balanced triumvirate of strong, sweet, and sour?

Now with the current cocktail renaissance permeating its way around the globe, the common drinker is not only more educated than ever, but also more curious. Sometimes these ubiquitous classics — as iconic and delicious as they are — just don’t cut it. For those whiskey lovers that frequent the rising spate of craft cocktail bars across the country, perhaps something a little more esoteric is in order.

Next time you find yourself ponied up at your favorite drinking den — where a throng of artisanal or home made bitters probably line the bar, a glistening array of Japanese bar tools are used with aplomb by your "mixologist" and a veritable kaleidoscope of exotic spirits and elixirs crowd the back bar — order up one of these somewhat forgotten whiskey drinks and see if your barkeep can step up. Or just show them this article and the recipes below.

The Blinker
2 ounces Wild Turkey rye whiskey
¾ ounce grapefruit juice
¾ ounce raspberry syrup
Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with 3 fresh raspberries on a skewer.
HISTORY: This delightful and simple concoction turns up in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s 1934 tome, The Official Mixer’s Manual.

The Boulevardier
1 ounce Maker’s Mark 46
¾ ounce Campari
¾ ounce sweet vermouth
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice
Garnish with a lemon twist.
HISTORY: First created at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, it’s essentially a cross between a Manhattan and a Negroni. Spiritous, complex, polarizing.

The Old Pal
1.5 ounces Knob Creek rye whiskey
¾ ounce dry vermouth
¾ ounce Campari
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice
Garnish with a lemon twist.
HISTORY: First mentioned in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Drinks (1922), from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. A great boozy cocktail, light yet elegant and not too dissimilar to the Boulevardier.

The Ward 8
2 ounces Russell’s Reserve rye whiskey
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce orange juice
¼ ounce grenadine
Shake and double strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with an orange twist.
HISTORY: Created in 1898 at the Locke Ober Bar in Boston. Named after the Ward 8 section in that city. Not the most complex of cocktails, it certainly is a crowd-pleaser though.

The Algonquin 
1.5 ounces Jim Beam rye whiskey
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass
No garnish.
HISTORY: Named after the famous hotel on Manhattan’s 44th Street, it once played host to the Algonquin Round Table, a meeting of the minds of some of the great literary icons of the 20th century. A simple and refreshing cocktail.

 

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